What's made new actress Lola Creton a femme fatale of radical French cinema?
Taken from the August issue of Dazed & Confused:
Parisian filmmaker Olivier Assayas: “She’s a very quiet, even mysterious individual, hiding abysses of human understanding. You can’t begin to grasp how she got there. Perhaps through an uncommon fierceness that shows even when she tries to hide it.”
Nineteen-year-old French star Lola Créton has a filmography under her belt that actresses many years her senior would envy. From the disobedient and proud 17th-century wife of an aristocratic serial-killer (in Catherine Breillat’s 2009 fairytale retelling of Bluebeard) to a suicidally depressed casualty of faded ardour (in Mia Hansen-Love’s Goodbye First Love, 2011), her roles have been demandingly intense. “I like to be pushed around, moved, troubled, feel emotions,” Créton tells Dazed when we meet in Paris. “I have no preconceived ideas about cinema.”
Her most recent film is the cold, brutal revenge drama Bastards, directed by the unflinchingly confrontational Claire Denis (Beau Travail, 35 Shots of Rum), which provoked extreme reactions at this year’s Cannes. The tale of a family destroyed by a powerful businessman with a penchant for sordid sex, it opens with Créton’s character, a troubled soul with a druggy past, wandering the streets in nothing but heels after some as-yet-unclear violation.
“Denis is a director who raises you up and leaves you enriched,” says Créton. “Her movies are hard, but on the shoot there’s such benevolence from her. She always makes sure you’re fine and she worries a lot about that. I adore her. If she wanted us to work together again someday, I’d run there. Making a movie with her is participating in something important.”
My character, Christine, was very down-to-earth, and very different from me as well. She’s a woman leader in a man’s world, and she’s a fighter as well – she goes to the very end for her political ideals
Créton nailed another challenging role last year as a leftist radical in Olivier Assayas’s Something in the Air, a sprawling depiction of young activists in Paris just after the May ’68 riots. “My character, Christine, was very different from other roles I’ve played – very down-to-earth, and very different from me as well. She’s a woman leader in a man’s world, and she’s a fighter as well – she goes to the very end for her political ideals.”
Quizzed on the best advice she’s ever been given, Créton gives a typically free-spirited answer. “I don’t really like advice,” she shrugs. “Through discussion, sharing and experience we come to understand.”